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Irish céilí dancing is the native group dancing of Ireland and is danced to traditional Irish music. Some of our céilí dances can be traced back to the 1500's. Most céilí dances are danced to reels or jigs. Some are danced to single jigs and some sections of The Three Tunes are danced to hornpipes.

Céilí dances can have various formations including two couples (Four Hand Reel and Humours of Bandon), three couples (Duke Reel), four couples (Morris Reel, Eight Hand Jig etc.), six couples (Lannigan's Ball), or eight couples (Sixteen Hand Reel) in a group. Lines of two opposite two (Walls of Limerick, Antrim Reel etc), three opposite three (Fairy Reel, Harvest Time Jig etc.) or four opposite four (Siege of Ennis). Each line would progress to meet a new line of dancers and repeat the same movements with them. 

Some dances are performed by a line of men facing a line of women (Haymakers Jig, Rince Fada etc.) while others ore performed by any number of couples in a circle (Rince Mór).

See also: A Short History of Irish Céilí Dancing by Kathleen Moffatt

Cad é an Rince Céilí?

What is Ceili Dancing?

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